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Australian singer Tina Arena was awarded a French National Order of Merit by the country's Cultural Minister Frederic Mitterand in a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday (December 14).
Presenting the award, Mitterrand praised the warmth of her voice and the mix of genres her music encompasses, which have contributed to her great appeal in France.
Arena said the award was fantastic and unexpected.
Her singles "I Need Your Body Strong as Steel" (1989) and "Chains" (1995) helped launch her career early on. She has since captured the attention of a francophone audience with her French language albums, including "Aller Plus Haut", which sold over one million copies.